This is more of an "end of year" geonews in batch mode! Everything pertinent found in the last two weeks that we haven't shared yet. I wish you an excellent holiday break. We'll be back in January. You can still send in your contributions.
From the Google front:
From the ESRI front:
From the open data / open source front:
From the Microsoft front:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
And the almost-off-topic link of the week, an amazing 4-minutes animation of the last 200 years of global history